Politics, Moderate



Vilifying Whites is No Way to Solve Our Racial Problems

CHICAGO -- Lately, it seems as though white bashing is a socially acceptable norm.

Imagine if media outlets ran headlines describing a large gathering of African-Americans as "a sea of black faces." Or one like this, "Republicans: In Your Black Faces, Young Democrats of America!!!" How about this one: "Dem Convention Full of 'Angry' 'Old' '...Read more

For the Sake of the Kids, Turn Down That Racket

CHICAGO -- In his book "The Unwanted Sound of Everything We Want," Garret Keizer writes: "Noise is not the most important problem in the world. Compared to the disasters of famine, war, and global climate change, the existence of 'unwanted sound' hardly counts as a problem at all."

Of course noise doesn't compare to all those disasters, but to ...Read more

What a Dining Hall's Menu Says About Our Educational Divide

CHICAGO -- As they select schools for their children, should well-off Americans consider their college decisions a moral act?

Has the race for luxury amenities at top-tier universities made a full-tuition-paying family's decision to send their children to a college with less swanky room and board an act of social justice?

Malcolm Gladwell ...Read more

Diversifying the Workplace is a Net Gain For Us All

CHICAGO -- There is near-universal agreement that Silicon Valley needs more diversity.

Attaining it is usually thought of as a numbers game in which organizations try to get the percentage of their non-white staff to reflect that of the U.S. population. The reason usually cited for the need to diversify is the "business case." The thinking goes...Read more

The New News Spectacle

CHICAGO -- In the days after the 9/11 attacks, mental health experts pleaded that the public not steep themselves and their families in the wall-to-wall footage of death and terror.

The experts explained that feasting yourself on images of traumatic events may lead to serious mental and physical aftereffects resulting from anxiety, panic and ...Read more

Asian-Americans Soar in Population But Can't Escape the Pigeonhole

CHICAGO -- It has been nearly a year since the Pew Research Center reported that Asian immigrants are elbowing Latin Americans aside and are projected to become the largest immigrant group by 2055. Policy analysis on the implications of this shift is beginning to trickle out.

There are two important issues that Asian-Americans have been trying ...Read more

Smarts Should Not Be Mistaken for Human Worth

CHICAGO -- A recent essay in The Atlantic, "The War on Stupid People," should make us ponder the nature of what "stupid" really means. The dictionary says that stupidity is "behavior that shows a lack of good sense or judgment; the quality of being stupid or unintelligent."

The term is worth contemplating when elite media publications, which ...Read more

Hunger Never Takes a Holiday

CHICAGO -- Though summer tends to deliver a few opportunities to put our feet up and take it easy, hunger never takes a holiday.

But while many of us serve up juicy hamburgers and barrels of potato salad as a prelude to fireworks displays, more than 48 million Americans won't be getting enough to eat.

That's because summertime is particularly ...Read more

A Pilgrimage for Tolerance

CHICAGO -- It was scorching -- in the high 80s, but feeling more like low 90s in the sun and choking humidity -- as Father Jose Landaverde, an activist Catholic priest, took my call on the road.

This was Sunday, one week since Landaverde and a group of 10 people had set off from the South Side of Chicago, attempting a 350-mile walk to the site ...Read more

Seeking a Path to Academic Success for Low-Income Children

CHICAGO -- In his new book, "Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why," journalist Paul Tough investigates the challenge of educating low-income children, who now account for more than half of all public school students.

Tough walks readers through a list of potential interventions -- at home, in communities and at school -- to help ...Read more

Blaming Entire Communities is Wrongheaded and Un-American

CHICAGO -- In addition to his consistent blurring of the bright line between people of the Muslim faith and terrorists who cloak their destructive actions in terms of Islamist extremism, Donald Trump recently suggested that Muslims aren't doing their part to prevent tragedies like the nightclub massacre in Orlando.

"We have to form a ...Read more

Why Is It So Hard to Find the Right Father's Day Card?

CHICAGO -- The only thing worse than schlepping to the store to buy Mother's Day cards in May is enduring the search for a decent Father's Day card in June.

There's less selection -- it seems as though there are half as many to choose from -- and the tone of the cards is all over the map.

Out on a hunting expedition with my 14-year-old son, we...Read more

Latinos Aren't Just a Bundle of Statistics

CHICAGO -- According to a recent study by professors from the University of Southern California and American University, discrimination against Hispanics is less about hostility against an ethnic "outgroup," and more about the stereotypes that imply they are a burden on the country.

In a Washington Post Monkey Cage blog post, authors Morris ...Read more

A Trump-Sotomayor Alliance on Judicial Impartiality?

CHICAGO -- Imagine that: Donald Trump and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor now agree on the role of heritage in a judge's ability to be impartial. They both say it's a non-issue.

After a surprising -- and reassuring -- display of bipartisan disgust at Trump's recent comments that Indiana-born federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel is biased because ...Read more

The Sweet Side of a Transcendent Prizefighter

CHICAGO -- Muhammad Ali kissed me once. On the cheek.

According to my dad, I was 4 or 5 years old. We were standing around at a terminal in Chicago's O'Hare Airport waiting on the arrival of a family member when my dad spotted a crowd forming around a large, familiar figure.

My father picked me up in his arms and followed the three-time world ...Read more

Trump Supporters, Like Everyone, Deserve to Be Heard

CHICAGO -- So far, the smartest thing I've read about this election season was written by Christina Saenz-Alcantara, a "Chicana small-business owner, daily meditator and nonprofit advocate" on the Latino Rebels website.

"I will be taking a radical position as a leftie that we can listen to [Donald] Trump supporters to gain a fuller ...Read more

Effective Policing Takes More Than an Algorithm

CHICAGO -- It's hot in my city, and expectations are that the rate of violent crimes, especially shootings and murders, will go up along with the mercury.

Following a parallel track are the rising concerns of residents alarmed not only by the danger of falling prey to criminals but at being targeted by the city's new algorithm-based policing ...Read more

Grit is Good

CHICAGO -- Education policy wonks have been hearing the gospel of grit as evangelized by Angela Duckworth for years now. Her premise that academic success can be attributed to a child's tolerance for the hard work of persevering through the frustrating learning stage to mastery was popularized in Paul Tough's book "How Children Succeed."

Now, ...Read more

Low-Income Students Face a Knowledge Gap Outside the Classroom

CHICAGO -- The results of the first-ever nationally representative assessment of technology and engineering literacy are in, and they're generally positive: 43 percent of eighth-grade students are proficient at solving real-world problems. And of these students, female white and female black students outperformed their male peers overall.

...Read more

A Bill of Rights for Domestic Workers

CHICAGO -- Workers' rights are on a bit of a roll these days. Not only are $15 minimum-wage increases starting to take hold in top cities across the country, but bills mandating paid sick time are making their way through state legislatures. And top brands like Starbucks and J. Crew are eliminating erratic "on-call" work schedules for their ...Read more


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